Everyone today wants to cleanse or detox to lead a healthy life. The reason being that the world we live is advancing in technology and it is systematically interfering with our health. Environmental pollutants such as smog, toxins, pesticides, food additives and cigarette smoke enter our bodies and make the oxygen molecule unstable, creating a ‘free radical’ or a bad oxygen molecule with a missing electron.
These unstable oxygen molecules go to war in the body, causing cellular destruction. Every time a free radical stabilizes itself by attacking another cell (for want of an electron) it damages that cell. That cell in turn damages other neighboring cells (in an effort to stabilize itself) creating a chain reaction.
This process of oxidation results in a toxic storehouse within us, creating a wide range of symptoms and disease. The only way to snuff out or stabilize the free radicals and to eliminate the toxins in the body is to neutralize and cleanse them with the help of antioxidants and natural detoxifying agents.
What is detoxing your body?
Internal cleansing or detoxification is the best way to flush out toxins from the body and allowing it to work on enhancing its basic functions. Detoxification therapy, as fasting, is the oldest treatment known to humans and is a completely natural process. The detox process helps clear wastes and old or dead cells and revitalizes the body’s natural functions and healing capacities.
Detoxification involves dietary and lifestyle changes that reduce the intake of toxins in the body and improve elimination. Avoiding chemicals, from food or other sources, refined food, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and many drugs helps minimize the toxin load.
Drinking extra water (purified) and increasing fibre intake by including more fruits and vegetables in your everyday diet are steps in the detoxification process. Moving from a more to a less congesting diet will help us to move along the detox road.
Why Cleanse Your Body?
You cleanse your body for many reasons, mainly to do with health, nourishment, and rejuvenation – to clear symptoms, treat disease and prevent further problems. A cleansing diet plan helps us to re-evaluate our food preferences, to make changes, or to clear abuses or addictions.
Detoxification can be helpful for weight loss, though it is not a primary reduction plan. You also cleanse your body to rest the overloaded organs of digestion and liver, gallbladder and kidneys and allow them to catch up on past work. You’ll experience
- Increased energy levels
- Clear and glowing skin
- Slow aging
- Improved flexibility and fertility
- Enhanced Senses
Who needs to Detoxify?
Almost everyone needs to detoxify, cleanse your body of toxins and rest your body functions at times. Detoxification is one part of the trilogy of nutritional action, the others being building, or toning, and balance, or maintenance.
Your body has a daily elimination cycle, mostly carried out at night and in the early morning, up until breakfast. However, when you eat a congesting diet higher in fats, meats, dairy products, refined foods and chemicals, detoxification becomes more necessary. Who needs to detoxify and when, is partly based on the individual’s current lifestyle and body requirements.
Signs and symptoms of toxicity
|Joint pains||Itchy nose||Nervousness||Skin rashes|
|Sore throat||Immune weakness||Dizziness||Indigestion|
|Tight or stiff neck||Environmental sensitivity||Mood changes||Anorexia|
|Angina pectoris||Sinus congestion||Anxiety||Bad breath|
|High blood fats|
Good Nutrition leads to Good Health
Sometimes it is difficult to eat the right foods. In most cases, adequate knowledge of good nutrition itself becomes the greatest motivator to bring about a change. For example, if you knew, that by virtue of being a vegetarian, your body would be lacking in the omega-3 fats and that you should supplement it in your diet; in all probability you would go ahead and make that change!!
So vegetarians and non-vegetarians, who don’t eat fish should consume 1 tablespoon of alsi seeds, 1 tablespoon of til seeds and some walnuts regularly to get omega-3 fats. They should stop consuming fried snacks, which are potential carcinogens and vegetable oils containing too much PUFA such as oil made from sunflower seeds, safflower seeds and corn.
They should switch to monounsaturated fats such as oil extracted from olives, mustard seeds, groundnut oil and canola oil. Just knowing this will probably motivate you to make a change. In the same way there is a great deal you can do for yourself to balance your body.
For example, eat –
- A bowl of raw salad with every meal
- Plenty of leafy vegetables regularly
- All kinds of fruits and vegetables
- High fibre cereals and pulses like jowar, bajri, naachini, brown rice, channa, rajma, chowli and whole moong
- Drink 8-10 glasses of water daily
- Avoid sugar completely as it causes a host of metabolic disturbances and depletes your body of zinc, chromium and B6
- Avoid butter, margarine, deep-fried foods & PUFA based oils as they are potential carcinogens and are the root cause of most disease states
- Drink a glass of freshly prepared vegetable juice daily
- Take a cup of low-fat curd daily
- A few nuts like raw almonds and walnuts daily
Above all take a brisk walk for 30-40 min at least 5 days in a week. Maintain a positive outlook towards life and regular hours of sleep.
Changing the way, you eat is completely within your reach and what you choose to eat today will determine the quality of your life tomorrow. Don’t try to be perfect and avoid all your favorite foods, even if they are ‘bad’. Do it at your pace because it is only then, that you will be able to sustain it and make it a way of life.